Here’s an interesting take on how the ever-expanding welfare state is affecting our society. Excerpt:
Our nation is in peril today, in no small part due the transformation of the United States from a nation dedicated to self-reliance to one where many are dependent on government. That change creates divisions because finite resources can support only so many dependents. The popularity among the young of Bernie Sander’s plan of free tuition, now largely adopted by Hillary Clinton, stems in no small part from youth’s recognition that they will be transferring a large portion of their earnings to elderly with little prospect of getting the same deal when they become old. It makes perfect sense to get something from the government now when the getting is good. Transfers to others beget the demand for transfers to oneself.
The infamous sign at one Tea Party Rally, “Hands off my Medicare,” is yet another sign of the inevitable conflict in the transfer state. Those on Medicare are worried with justification that the move to Obamacare will have an adverse affect on Medicare. Obamacare cut Medicare, at least in some part to permit the program to be scored as revenue neutral. More fundamentally, the more the government is involved in health care decisions, the greater the pressure for more severe price controls and other forms of rationing. Transfers to oneself beget the desire to prevent transfers to others.
It’s important to note that this view of the wealth-transfer state fits in nicely with the political Left’s view of the economy as a zero-sum game – which contradicts the idea that economies grow, and that wealth is created and earned, not ‘distributed.’ And sadly – as noted above – some on the political Right are quick to jump on the zero-sum train when they see their own personal ox being gored.
The gist of the article is this: We, as a nation, have wandered off the traditional American sense of self-reliance. When faced with adversity a plurality, if not a majority, of Americans shout for the government (by which they mean, taxpayers) to bail them out. And why not? The Imperial government has in recent history bailed out auto manufacturers, banks, the list is lengthy; why, voters say, shouldn’t they be included in “too big to fail?”
Thus it is that our elections have become auctions; with candidates competing to see who can offer the voters more of someone else’s stuff.